There is some debate as to the exact origin of this grape. Some claim it is the hybrid of two other hybrids: Goldriesling crossed with a Vitis riparia - Vitis rupestris cross. Others it contains the grape variety Oberlin 595 crossed with Pinot Noir. Regardless, we know it was developed in Alsace, France by noted hybridizer Eugene Kuhlmann in 1920 and introduced in the United States in 1951.
Foch ripens early, is cold-hardy down to -25F, and is resistant to many fungal diseases. The grapes are small making them a favorite of birds.
Marechal Foch grapes produce light to medium bodied wines with a deep inky color that are somewhat acidic. These characteristics make it popular for blending and it is often used in port. Lighter and darker varietal wines are described as having a Beaujolais or Burgundian character. Wines made from Marechal Foch carry aromas of black fruits and, in some cases, toasted wheat, mocha, fresh coffee, bitter chocolate, vanilla bean, and musk.
"[T]he Marechal Foch grape was named after General Ferdinand Foch, a French military leader and hero during World War I. Foch (1851-1929) was a general in the French army and was named a Marshal of France during World War I (a Marshal of France is not a rank but rather a miliary distinction granted to individuals –mostly generals– who show exceptional valor or leadership. Think of it like the Medal of Honor for Frenchmen). During the last year of World War I – 1918 – he was named Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces and after Germany was defeated, he assisted with the creation of the Treaty of Versailles." (www.forgottengrapes.com)